I first encountered Candle Inc and Norma at a reality tour through an internship. I'm currently in school for addiction counseling and absolutely loved the program and everything it stood for. After seeing one reality tour I knew I wanted to be involved in more. Drug prevention is very important to me and I fully stand behind everything Candle Inc is about and strongly suggest it to others!
When Norma Norris asked me ten years ago to help put together ONE reality tour I thought it was a great idea. Over those years I have volunteered and seen the faces of the children who never thought about the consequences of drug use, over and over and over.
When a group of "hard core" kids from an alternate education facility attend a tour and came up to us afterwards, with tears in their eyes, saying: "I want my sister/cousin/brother to see this program" and gave us hugs, I KNEW this was one of the most valuable programs available for young children.
I don't know how many lives this has saved, but if it saved ONE child from drug abuse, it's well worthwhile!
I was originally involved with the Westmoreland Reality Tour for about 1 year after the loss of my son (David Baughman) to a heroin overdose. In November of last year I took on the venture of bringing the program to the Latrobe Area. The Latrobe Reality Tour will cover the Latrobe, Derry and Ligonier School districts as the Westmoreland Reality Tour no longer has the capacity for our families. Our first tour will be on Wednesday September 17 at the Latrobe Municipal Authority. If I can help deter one child from going down that terrible road then my son's death was not in vain.
Mary Ann, Your journey is one that no one wants to take, but you handle each step with courage and faith. Because you didn't stay rooted in grief - as you would have been entitled to do - you are now reaching hundreds and most likely thousands with a family prevention message. David must be saying, "Way to go Mom." I read the article covering the start of the Latrobe Reality Tour under your direction and that of the Latrobe Rotary Club: (http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourlatrobe/yourlatrobemore/6888557-74/latrobe-program-reality?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+alltribstories+%28TribLIVE+News%29#axzz) Thank you for answering the call that was tugging on your heart. Norma Norris Executive Director CANDLE, Inc.
I have been volunteering for CANDLE, Inc./ Reality Tour through my on campus organization at Slippery Rock University of PA, Rock PRoductions, for about two years now and I recently started interning for them this fall semester. They have an amazing impact on families and that impact increases each day. Several months ago I attended Reality Tour on my own just to get a feel for how they run things and it far exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend ALL parents to take the time to go to Reality Tour with their kids!
I have been with CANDLE Inc. and The Reality Tour for a little over a year now. The countless lives I have seen impacted over that short time has been tremendous. I myself do not have children, but I recommend all of my friends with children 10 and up take their child to Reality Tour. The positive responses I receive back is astounding. So many parents and pre-teens / teens do not realize the severity drug abuse has on an entire family. The knowledge they gain at the tours is so profound, many change their entire thinking about ever trying drugs in the first place. This program should be in every school district and every county nationwide.
We have been working on bringing the Reality Tour to Russell, Ontario, Canada. Over the last few years I have noticed the increase in drug use amongst the youth in our community. Having two teenage children these statistics scare me to death! While in the States last summer I heared about the Reality Tour from some youth that had done the Tour. They said it was "life changing". There was nothing like this available to youth in Canada. We contacted Norma Norris and she is helping adjust a few things with the program to make it suitable for Canada. We are excited to be the first community in Canada to launch the Reality Tour. It is an amazing program!
I learned about REALITY TOUR two years ago and I love the program so much I am helping to start one in the Murrysville, PA, area! Every time I attend a TOUR, I gain more knowledge of the current dangers that illegal drugs and the abuse of prescription medications present to our children and our communities. I'm always surprised that the emotional power of REALITY TOUR continues to affect me no matter how many times I attend. I have young children, so my personal connection to videos and scenes at REALITY TOUR is strong. I never want to see these events unfold for my children or their friends and I'll do whatever it takes to help educate them and lead them in the right direction and help others in our community delay or stop experimentation that can lead to addiction. God Bless CANDLE Inc. for the work they are doing saving lives, families and communities. Once addiction sets in, there is no easy road back to "normal." Prevention -- specifically evidence-based prevention -- plays a vital role as the best way to fight the negative power of addiction and keep the drug trade out of our communities.
"Thank you so much for caring about our kids enough to show them how dangerous and easy it is to get involved with drugs & alcohol. Very informative and creative in helping our awareness." - Adult participant at the Indiana County Reality Tour in January 2010.
I wanted a share my personal story on how the Reality Tour impacted my family - even after several years. My children (a son and a daughter) and I were volunteers for the tour when it first started. At the time, my son was 15 and my daughter was 12, and they were members of the opening peer pressure scene. As time goes by, we all tend to forget the impact or significance of past involvements that at the time were so impactful and important to us when we were in the midst. However, the impact on the Reality Tour has been so beneficial to my children and my son, in particular - even several years later. Let me tell you why.....
My son is now 24 years - and reconnecting with some of his former friends from high school since returning from college. He shared with me some shocking news that some of his former class mates are experiencing with drugs, such as: LSD. I asked him what his thoughts were -- and here are his own words: 'I know the impact of drug usage. The Reality Tour taught me as a young teen the negative affect that drugs would have on my life - and I'll never forget it!'
What an amazing validation for the benefit of this program! It is truly a must-see for all pre-teens/teens and their parents. THANK YOU, Reality Tour for leaving such a lasting, postive impression on my children!
My name is Rob Fabriiz. I first experiened the Reality Tour when I was in 6th grade with my parents and younger brother, the program not only opened the door for my family to talk about the drug use that is all around us in school and in the streets but it also made me want to help out. I wanted to help bring this awareness to others. From that day forward I felt the need to help with the program. I took the role of being arrested one Tuesday night a month. As a teenager being involved with this program, it helped me not only be aware of the dangers of drug use but it helped me to look out for those around me . This program is a must see for every family, it helps to open the door for kids and partens to talk about drugs, it helps parents to be aware of what their kids face when it comes to the dangers of drugs and how easily available they are. I have recommended this program to all my friends. BEST PROGRAM EVER!!!!!